CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis is taking measures to improve school safety in Florida.
On Tuesday, he signed into law House Bill 1421 which implements recommendations of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission to make schools safer and improve mental health for kids.
Part of that legislation includes requiring all school boards to have a reunification plan in the case of an evacuation.
Before that even became law, Citrus County Schools planned to start their summer break with a 2-day evacuation and reunification training.
Citrus County School District Police Chief Dave Vincent, told Bay News 9's Katya Guillaume, “Our goal with this is to make sure our staff is comfortable. It’s gonna be a stressful day for everyone. There’s nothing more stressful than going into a situation and not knowing what your role is.”
The two-day training led by the “I love u guys” Foundation, puts teachers and staff through a variety of scenarios that can come up in any situation.
"Accountability is the most complicated piece of this," Chief Vincent said, "so it’s dependent on us that we’re doing things correctly from the start of school every day to the end of school with attendance and stuff.”
Superintendent Sam Himmel, also taking part in this training, said the district has been working on it for over 2 years now.
“For many many years," She continued, "we’ve had a safety plan and reunification plan and this is like the next step for us where we can practice and put people in true roles that they would be experiencing on that day where they can learn what we need to do and what we can do better.”
Chief Vincent added, “We have our transportation folks here, our food services folks, our ed services, and our executive team here as well.”
Thorough training with one main goal in mind, to keep kids and staff members safe and to make sure each kid is returned safely to their loved ones.
The “I love u guys” Foundation is a group designed to train schools on standard response protocols.
They’ve been used in over 30,000 schools across the country with the purpose to help save lives.